dīkṣā-puraścaryā-vidhi apekṣā nā kare
jihvā-sparśe ā-caṇḍāla sabāre uddhāre
dīkṣā—initiation; puraścaryā—activities before initiation; vidhi—regulative principles; apekṣā—reliance on; nā—not; kare—does; jihvā—the tongue; sparśe—by touching; ā-caṇḍāla—even to the lowest of men, the caṇḍāla; sabāre—everyone; uddhāre—delivers.
"One does not have to undergo initiation or execute the activities required before initiation. One simply has to vibrate the holy name with his lips. Thus even a man in the lowest class [caṇḍāla] can be delivered.
divyaṁ jñānaṁ yato dadyāt
kuryāt pāpasya saṅkṣayam
tasmād dīkṣeti sā proktā
"Dīkṣā is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as dīkṣā." The regulative principles of dīkṣā are explained in the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (2.3,4) and in Bhakti-sandarbha (283). As stated:
dvijānām anupetānāṁ svakarmādhyayanādiṣu
yathādhikāro nāstīha syāc copanayanād anu
tathātrādīkṣitānāṁ tu mantra-devārcanādiṣu
nādhikāro 'sty ataḥ kuryād ātmānaṁ śiva-saṁstutam
"Even though born in a brāhmaṇa family, one cannot engage in Vedic rituals without being initiated and having a sacred thread. Although born in a brāhmaṇa family, one becomes a brāhmaṇa after initiation and the sacred thread ceremony. Unless one is initiated as a brāhmaṇa, he cannot worship the holy name properly."
According to the Vaiṣṇava regulative principles, one must be initiated as a brāhmaṇa. The Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (2.6) quotes the following injunction from the Viṣṇu-yāmala:
kṛtaṁ sarvaṁ nirarthakam
"Unless one is initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, all his devotional activities are useless. A person who is not properly initiated can descend again into the animal species."
Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (2.10) further quotes:
ato guruṁ praṇamyaivaṁ
sarva-svaṁ vinivedya ca
gṛhṇīyād vaiṣṇavaṁ mantraṁ
"It is the duty of every human being to surrender to a bona fide spiritual master. Giving him everything-body, mind and intelligence-one must take a Vaiṣṇava initiation from him."
yathā kāñcanatāṁ yāti
dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām
"By chemical manipulation, bell metal is turned into gold when touched by mercury; similarly, when a person is properly initiated, he can acquire the qualities of a brāhmaṇa."
The Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (17.11,12) in discussing the puraścaryā process, quotes the following verses from Agastya-saṁhitā:
pūjā traikālikī nityaṁ
japas tarpaṇam eva ca
homo brāhmaṇa-bhuktiś ca
guror labdhasya mantrasya
puraś caitad vidhīyate
"In the morning, afternoon and evening, one should worship the Deity, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, offer oblations, perform a fire sacrifice, and feed the brāhmaṇas. These five activities constitute puraścaryā. To attain full success when taking initiation from the spiritual master, one should first perform these puraścaryā processes."
The word puraḥ means "before" and caryā means "activities." Due to the necessity of these activities, we do not immediately initiate disciples in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. For six months, a candidate for initiation must first attend ārati and classes in the śāstras, practice the regulative principles and associate with other devotees. When one is actually advanced in the puraścaryā-vidhi, he is recommended by the local temple president for initiation. It is not that anyone can be suddenly initiated without meeting the requirements. When one is further advanced by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra sixteen rounds daily, following the regulative principles and attending classes, he receives the sacred thread (brahminical recognition) after the second six months.
vinā yena na siddhaḥ syān
mantro varṣa-śatair api
kṛtena yena labhate
sādhako vāñchitaṁ phalam
mantro hi phala-dhāyakaḥ
ataḥ puraṣkriyāṁ kuryāt
puraṣkriyā hi mantrāṇāṁ
pradhānaṁ vīryam ucyate
vīrya-hīno yathā dehī
sarva-karmasu na kṣamaḥ
tathā mantraḥ prakīrtitaḥ
"Without performing the puraścaryā activities, one cannot become perfect even by chanting this mantra for hundreds of years. However, one who has undergone the puraścaryā-vidhi process can attain success very easily. If one wishes to perfect his initiation, he must first undergo the puraścaryā activities. The puraścaryā process is the life-force by which one is successful in chanting the mantra. Without the life-force, one cannot do anything; similarly, without the life force of puraścaryā-vidhi, no mantra can be perfected."
Similarly in the Rāmārcana-candrikā it is stated:
vinaiva dīkṣāṁ viprendra
puraścaryāṁ vinaiva hi
In other words, the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is so powerful that it does not depend on official initiation, but if one is initiated and engages in pañcarātra-vidhi (Deity worship), his Kṛṣṇa consciousness will awaken very soon, and his identification with the material world will be vanquished. The more one is freed from material identification, the more one can realize that the spirit soul is qualitatively as good as the Supreme Soul. At such a time, when one is situated on the absolute platform, he can understand that the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself are identical. At that stage of realization, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, cannot be identified with any material sound. If one accepts the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra as a material vibration, he falls down. One should worship and chant the holy name of the Lord by accepting it as the Lord Himself. One should therefore be initiated properly according to revealed scriptures under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master. Although chanting the holy name is good for both the conditioned and liberated soul, it is especially beneficial to the conditioned soul because by chanting it one is liberated. When a person who chants the holy name is liberated, he attains the ultimate perfection by returning home, back to Godhead. In the words of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 7.73):
kṛṣṇa-mantra haite habe saṁsāra-mocana
kṛṣṇa-nāma haite pābe kṛṣṇera caraṇa
The offenseless chanting of the holy name does not depend on the initiation process. Although initiation may depend on puraścaryā or puraścaraṇa, the actual chanting of the holy name does not depend on puraścaryā-vidhi, or the regulative principles. If one chants the holy name once without committing an offense, he attains all success. During the chanting of the holy name, the tongue must work. Simply by chanting the holy name, one is immediately delivered. The tongue is sevonmukha-jihvā-it is controlled by service. One whose tongue is engaged in tasting material things and also talking about them cannot use the tongue for absolute realization.
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
ataeva kṛṣṇera 'nāma', 'deha', 'vilāsa'
prākṛtendriya-grāhya nahe, haya sva-prakāśa
"With these material senses, one cannot understand the transcendental holy name of the Lord or His form, activities and pastimes. However, when one actually engages in devotional service, utilizing the tongue, the Lord is revealed."
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